Electric Heater Or Heat Pumps What to use?

Electric Heater and Heat Pumps both Supply Heat. But there should be judicious decision in selecting them. To Compare, An electric Heater is 100% efficient whereas a heat pump is more than 100% efficient. The Efficiency depends upon the environment. While Heat pumps mostly have more than 100% efficiency (cop>1), they have limited application and find use in such as room heater or as water heater. They can not provide heat at more than few hundred degree Celsius. Although, heat pump technology is evolving and is made to provide heat at high temperature, its installation and maintenance cost is still making big on pockets. Heat pump have lots of parts and accessories which make them costly. On the other hand, electric heater, depending upon the made, can work even in around thousand degree Celsius range. Also, Electric Heater are simple in made and easy to control. Hence they are cheap as compared to Heat Pumps.

Working of a heat pump is similar to a domestic Refrigerator. In domestic refrigerator, Heat is pulled from the cooling compartment by a flowing fluid, which in turn push this heat from the cooling compartment out to the environment. This Pulling and Pushing of Heat is made possible by expanding the fluid in the cooling chamber and compressing it at outside. The Expanding of this fluid is made, to make a decrease in temperature of this flowing fluid, thus creating a temperature difference such that the following fluid is at a lower temperature than that of the cooling cabinet. Thus Heat flows from the cooling chamber to the expanded fluid. Now, this energy laden fluid is compressed in a compressor, making its temperature to increase than the surrounding temperature. Thus because of Difference in the temperature, the heat is expelled out to the environment. The cycle is than repeated. Now A Heat pump is a reverse of this. The Compressor part is inside the room to be heated, while the expanded fluid part is outside. Thus the heat pump pull the heat from the cold outside and push it into the room.

Heat Pump are divided into two forms according to the medium with which heat is exchanged. They are: 
1. air to air 
2. air to liquid.

 In air to air as the name suggest, heat is exchanged with air on both the heating side and the cooling side. The drawback of this system is that air have poor capabilities to exchange heat. Also fins are often required to increase the surface area. On the other hand air to liquid is employed for exchanging heat at a higher rate. The source of liquid is generally water. Also Ground water is often use with air to liquid heat pump. This is because, often the outside temperature falls to that level, that no more energy can be pulled from it. To that event, ground water, which is protected from the harsh temperature of the environment is still warm, still contains energy to pull it from and push it to the room. The System is also called as Geo thermal Heat pump.

In Conclusion, it all depends upon the application and economy. An Electric Heater is used in a variety of application including industrial and domestic use, while Heat pump is mostly employed for domestic use and for human comfort. A Heat Pump is more likely to be recommended for space heating and heating water as they are more economical in long run, saving a huge amount on electricity bills.

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